Seychelles tourism to build on success of hospitality

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Raymond St. Ange, Executive Director of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA), writes:

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Raymond St. Ange, Executive Director of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association (SHTA), writes:

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word hospitality as, “hospitable treatment, reception, or disposition,” as regards the treatment of others, and it is with this in mind that our “editorial” feature for the end of our calendar year will focus on briefly.

Of course in our business, or trade, where would we be without a hospitable treatment of our visitors to our tropical shores? The answer, of course, is not where we are at today, and that is a year where the country has recorded an increase of visitors to the Seychelles, in a period which has been full of trials and tribulations, to say the least.

It is appropriate, therefore, that we are mindful of the meaning of the word “hospitable,” especially in this month of December where in a few short days we come together to celebrate the birth of Christ. We all know the story of the nativity and the circumstances as to how the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph came to be in humble settings for arrival of the savior. And here perhaps demonstrates clearly “hospitality” at its best, despite all the inns being full at that moment in time, and with some clear thinking, somewhere was provided for this couple to bed down for the night.

It has been a month and a few days since taking on the challenges here at the SHTA, and in a short time I have appreciated that without a genuine hospitable nature and disposition, there can be little success in this business for someone who does not possess what it takes to deliver what is required.

For many years now, the trade has existed in one form or another, from small “bed and breakfast” establishments to larger ones. What has impressed me, as I have begun to make the rounds of our member establishments, is that a wide array of products and services remains in our lineup of what is on offer to our visitors today. I have visited members who have been in the business now for 20 years or more, with some marking their 35th and 40th year of operations and service to the industry. I doubt that they would have made it this far without their unique style and hospitality that is so critically needed in this business today. Our Seychellois warmth and Creole “charm” has carried them this far.
“Hospitality,” of course, is not the only ingredient needed, however, without it, life in general is a bigger struggle then it has to be.

“Hospitality” as well means that communications are open, and if this is the case, then for November, we clearly have seen where, because of a lack of communication, our “hospitality” has come in effect under scrutiny. Businesses survive when the lines of communication are open and clear, and when they are not, then confusion, and as well derision, develops, breaking the harmony that existed. When harmony does not exist in our trade, then the very nature of “hospitality” is threatened.

So for the New Year 2012, let us see more “hospitality” even as the pressures on our trade grow, for without it, we all suffer as doors to businesses are closed. “Hospitality” is part of our make-up, and together for 2012, we can salvage the best parts of 2011 and drive forward.

With that said we extend special greetings, wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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